What is Gestational Diabetes?
According to the American Diabetes Association it is when “Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies.”
The above link is a great video on Gestational diabetes.
How do we know if we have it?
Your doctor will test you for gestational diabetes around 24 weeks. You will first take a 1 hour glucose test. If you are lucky they will send you home with the drink and instruct you to drink it about 30 minutes before your appointment at the lab. Or you will go in to see the Dr. They will give you the glucose drink and you wait a hour from the time you drink it and then get you blood taken.
If your labs come back high they will do another test to make sure the results are correct and it is called a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. Which is tough… both of these tests are done fasting for 12 hours beforehand. Let me tell you keep the drink down or you will have to start all over again! Lucky for me another lady waiting for results told me the little tidbit.
I was one of the lucky 18% that had gestational diabetes. Unfortunately for me I had a few of the warning factors for gestational diabetes as well.
What are the warning signs for getting gestational diabetes?
- Diabetes family history – genetics make a big difference. (FYI- this was me, darn those genes)
- Obesity- if you are heavy when you get pregnant then you may have a higher risk
- You have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies (me again for #2)
- Sugar in your urine (all those urine tests at the OB’s will tell them this)
- Over 35 years of age
- If you are having multiples (me again- I was doomed)
What happens if I do have gestational diabetes?
You will be placed on a strict diet with lower carbs and much less sugar. For me it was so hard because I was a sweet addict with baby number 3. Make sure you stick to your diet. Here is a great article on this.
You will be given a glucometer to test your blood sugar levels and keep a record of it!
Don’t be scared and keep a good log of your readings and here is a app called Diabetes Log you can get. There are a few and you can even use Evernote to create you own log and sync it to your computer so you can print it as well. Just be diligent about it!
Excersize! Walking after meals will greatly decrease you glucose levels and excersize is good for you and the baby as long as you keep it moderate.
Your doctor will have you meet with a nutritionist most likely and they will go over everything with you. You will monitor you levels for a week and at your appointment go over the levels with you. You may have to take a medication to help with the levels or Diet and excersize may be enough.
Why is it important to keep my blood sugar down?
Gestational Diabetes can affect the baby. If your glucose levels are too high the glucose will end up in the babies bloodstream. It turn your baby has to produce more insulin to help with the excess glucose. All of this back and forth can cause the baby to gain weight faster then a normal baby. This can lead to something called macrosomia. Which means the baby has grown too big for the birth canal.
For more info check:
The sources are limitless online, so go suck up all the info you can.
Good luck and I hope everyone learned something new!